Lakeland challengers unseat 2 incumbents

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    Thompson

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    Thompson

RATHDRUM — Two-thirds of the Lakeland School Board were replaced on Tuesday, according to preliminary election results.

Incumbent Rena Olmstead retained her seat, receiving 246 votes to opponent Randi Bain’s 179.

Meanwhile, challenger Ramona Grissom earned 342 votes — enough to oust incumbent John Michael Shaffer, who received 271 votes.

With 198 votes, Michelle Thompson replaced Tim Skubitz, who received 180.

The results come a little more than two months after voters in the Lakeland Joint School District overwhelmingly turned down a $70.9 million bond measure that would have funded a new complex for Lakeland and Mountain View high schools and improvements to other schools.

The bond measure’s approval rating was just 28 percent.

Lakeland Joint School District Superintendent Becky Meyer said that while the bond measure was a topic of discussion at three recent community input forums, she did not attribute the election results to the failed bond.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a direct correlation,” she said Friday.

A total of 1,490 votes were tallied in Kootenai County districts, while seven votes were cast in Bonner County.

The Lakeland Joint School District serves around 4,600 students.

Meyer said she had hoped to see a higher voter turnout.

“I was hoping for a larger turnout so that more voices from the community could be heard,” she said. “I feel strongly about people getting out and voting.”

Grissom and Thompson are both newcomers to the school board.

“I’m excited to bring them into the fold of what we’re doing in the school district,” Meyer said. “New perspectives are always a good thing to have on a team.”

Meyer expressed gratitude to John Michael Shaffer and Tim Skubitz, who served on the school board for 11 and 9 years, respectively.

“I would like thank both of them for their service,” she said. “Being a school board member takes a lot of time and dedication.”

School board election results will not be official until the county commissioners canvass of votes is complete, according to the Kootenai County Elections Office.

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